October 24, 2021

‘Sweep the Hooch’ volunteers clean up at Brush Creek Park

Alicia Jacobs (foreground) and Hayley Hilderbrand gather trash on Saturday, April 6 at Brush Creek Park in Franklin (Photo: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper)

(Franklin, GA) — Volunteers descended on Brush Creek Park last Saturday for the 9th annual ‘Sweep the Hooch’ event.

Organizers called the event very successful after more than 2000 pounds of trash was collected and removed from just the park.

Similar cleanups took place involving a total of about 1200 volunteers at many other locations up and down the Chattahoochee River.

‘Sweep the Hooch’ is an annual day of service sponsored by the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, an environmental advocacy organization dedicated solely to protecting and restoring the Chattahoochee River Basin.

The event involves mobilizing volunteers on foot, in waders, or kayak/canoe paddlers to remove trash at locations throughout the watershed.

More than 80 tons of trash has been collected over the last several years with the assistance of more than 4,500 volunteers.

This year, the Riverkeeper organized and supplied 46 cleanup locations throughout 100 miles of river and tributary – from the headwaters above Lake Lanier, through the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and Atlanta, and below, in West Point Lake.

The group accepted three kinds of volunteers last Saturday at Brush Creek including walkers (land-based volunteers who pick up trash in and around the river or tributaries), waders (volunteers equipped with waders or wading boots, and paddlers (people who use kayaks/canoes/stand-up paddleboards and travel between 3-5 miles per segment).

These crafts are useful in collecting debris from portions of the river that cannot be accessed from the land side. Volunteers provided their own kayaks, canoes, and/or SUPs.

Middle Chattahoochee Outreach Director Henry Jacobs expressed appreciation to Heard County Commission Chairman Lee Boone and other Heard County staff for being onsite to help out and providing lunch to the volunteers.

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